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. secondly, i had lengthy discussions with the democratic leader of nevada, harry reid, as well as my good friend, george mitchell of maine, on this very question. i came away from these conversations reassured that my independence would be respected and that no party line commitment would be required or expected. and so i've decided to affiliate myself with the democratic caucus, because doing so will allow me to take independent positions on issues as they arise and at the same time will allow me to be an effective representative of the people of maine. one final word. by associating myself with one side, i am not in automatic opposition to the other. i'd like to repeat that. by associating myself with one side, i am not in automatic opposition to the other. in the situation of a republican house, a democratic senate but with substantial powers residing in the minority and a democratic president, no one party can control the outcome of our collective deliberations. as bill clinton might say, it's just arithmetic. in fact, this situation of a divided government has only two possible outco
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